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Fiona Ingram: Where Do Stories Grow?

Where do stories come from? I wish I had a clever answer but although they clearly come from one’s imagination, life’s events and experiences and people undoubtedly shape the process. I started my storytelling career by entertaining my three younger brothers and their friends with tales of intrepid youngsters (us, of course!) somehow trapped inside a haunted mansion called Gruesome Gables. This mansion was populated by the worst of the worst in the monster pantheon – vampires, werewolves, ghosts, ghouls, you name it, we fought it. Of course, being the young heroes, we always escaped to fight another day.

Blog Tour Spotlight: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper

In The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, author Fiona Ingram brings back the history-loving, adventure-chasing trio of Justin, Adam, and Kim. This time, a sightseeing airplane ride over the Mexican jungle ends in a plane crash and an encounter with an uncontacted jungle tribe. Thanks to a set of English-speaking missionionaries long in since gone, the tribal leader and his grandson speak English and agree to help the trio stay one step ahead of Dr. Kahlid in the persuit of the third stone of power.

Written with a middle-grade reader in mind, this book offers adventure, wild animals, and a deep dip into ancient Aztec and Mayan history. The lanugage used keeps the story easy to understand while also introducing several Spanish, Mayan, and Aztec words.

Four Reasons You Should Work with Beta Readers & Four Reasons to Consider Paying Them

Spend time in an any active author group on social media and you’ll bear witness to the on-going editing debate. One side says it’s imperative, the other side says it’s a nice to have if you can afford it, a small faction of rebel authors insist it's not necessary at all. As an editor, you can probably guess which side of the fence I sit on, but you might be surprised to hear that as a writer, I totally get why editing feels like one of those nice-to-haves. 
 
While I don’t necessarily condone skipping professional editing, there are some things you can do to help ensure your book is the best it can be (on whatever budget you have). One of those things is to use a couple of exceptional beta readers.
 
If you’ve never used a beta reader, here are some reasons to consider it:
 

Clarity

For Authors: 4 Things You Should Know About Cover Design

When you meet someone new, within seven seconds, you form a first impression. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but it is always quick. Now, imagine your book is sitting out there on the shelf, waiting, hoping even, to meet a new reader.

Have you given them everything they need to make a good, lasting first impression?

You can’t exactly teach them small talk and pop them a breath mint, but what you can do is ensure that your cover says “I’m amazing! You should check me out! You should take me home! You will LOVE ME!”

Blog Tour Spotlight: Pulse Vampire Series

Vampire fiction lovers, have we got a book, or rather an entire series for you! Take the blood-alternative from True Blood, the teenage-angsty hormone charged dialogue from Vampire Diaries, a half human-half vamp from Twilight, and the seductive allure of a vampire glamour from Interview With a Vampire and mash them all together and you've got the Pulse series by Kailin Gow. 

Kalina is just your every-day seventeen-year-old girl. She’s worried about SATs, homework, and remembering her latest cheerleading routine. And up until a few months ago, she even had a handsome boyfriend. But now she's caught in a love triangle with two goregous vampire brothers, and just one sip of her blood will make them more powerful or return them to their human form.

Blog Tour Spotlight: A Study in Shifters by Majanka Verstraete

Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes may be the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, but it’s hard to live up to the family name when only one mistake can spell your downfall. After trusting the wrong guy in a case gone totally wrong, Marisol convinces the Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, to give her a last chance to prove her worth, and maybe even heal her broken heart

After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—and every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter. But is one of her own people involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?

Book Review: The Same Time by Brona Mills

I love the movie The Time Traveler's Wife, so I was excited to read this book. The story begins with an unusual opening...the main character, Stella, is in labor! I have to be honest, I wasn't sure where the story was going at first. A young woman, about to give birth, meets a stranger in the hospital waiting room and he ends up hanging out, helping her through delivery, and then comes back to see the baby. I though were were witnessing a kidnapping in progress, and then the most amazing thing happens...we learn that the stranger is actually a time traveler and he had come to help Stella through a difficult day in her life.

These kinds of stories can be incredibly complex to tell, but the author handles the storyline brilliantly. It does require the reader to pay attention, and to occassionally, just relax into the read and wait for the storyline to develop, but there is always that satisfying ah-ha moment.

Blog Tour Spotlight: When Darkness Follows

The only man who can save her, is the one she swore she’d never see again…

Rachel Sommers and her two best friends don’t believe anything will happen when they sneak onto a haunted shipwreck in the middle of the night. Why would they? Ghosts don’t actually exist… right?

But Rachel and her friends disturb something that night. Something demonic. Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

Over a century ago, an act of bitter jealousy and revenge tainted a crystal ball with an unstoppable evil. And when the deadly object eerily turns up in her bedroom, Rachel’s nightmare really begins.

Blog Tour Spotlight: In the Land of Milk & Honey

When Gabrielle “Bree” Valentine awoke in a hospital bed with a newborn baby, she centered herself and rebuilt. Bree didn’t think about her mental breakdown, lost memories, or the features of a stranger emerging daily in the face of the son she is raising alone.

Five years later, on a weekend in the Hamptons, a chance encounter with a man unlike any other jars her—bone deep. Daniel Hawthorne Baird II, wealthy, dangerous, British aristocrat, gravitates to Bree like caviar on crostini. In his relentless obsession with Bree, their lives entwine despite Bree’s resistance.

With the unconditional support of friends she calls ‘family’, Bree confronts the most difficult questions of her life.

Unearthing the painful mysteries behind who fathered her child, who the real Daniel Baird is, and the irrepressible desire driving her towards a man destined to be the end of them both.

Blog Tour Spotlight: Dear You

Dear You is a collection of letters written to the people and events that have made the most impactful influences in my life. This book started out as a personal series of letters to the people I love. Letters filled with memories and life lessons. I began writing these letters after finding out that I was very sick. As each letter was written, certain events and memories began popping into my mind which inspired more letters.

Dear You is my way of sharing an underdog story about a girl who was never meant to live, but did. I've survived surgeries, bullies, depression and being suicidal. I've seen this world at its brightest and at its darkest. Living with a rare disorder has allowed me to see this crazy thing we call life in a whole different perspective.

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